Thursday, January 24, 2013

At home with Benjamin and Miriam

Now that we're all feeling better (not 100% yet but certainly better) we've been having much more fun at home together. Here are some pictures from the past couple of days for our grandmas to enjoy...

Miriam and I worked on patterns while Benjamin was napping. She made up her own pattern—it goes pink, purple, pink, purple, pink, purple...purple, purple, etc. She only noticed her mistake when she was "reading" her pattern to me.

She's been very interesting in reading. At the beginning of the year we talked about and set some goals at FHE one evening. One of Miriam's goals was to read a book all by herself. She's requested reading lessons and we started them before getting so sick (we have yet to start them up again).

Benjamin's been working on sitting up on his own and is getting quite good at it.

His refulx is getting much better. He's been off of prevacid since the beginning of January and hasn't seemed too miserable without it, though he's still rather spitty...

I'm not sure what Miriam is doing here—my hunch is she's just posing for the camera. Notice her glistening thumb? I'm not sure we'll ever kick that thumb-sucking habit of hers.

Benjamin recently discovered the joy of rattles. He loves to shake them in the air but even more than that enjoys banging them onto hard surfaces—then they rattle and bang! Double the fun!

Now that he is breathing better and his throat isn't so sore he's been sleeping much better, both for nap time and night time. Things were getting a little dicey for my sanity after basically not sleeping at all for over a week while he battled the worst of this cough so I'm very happy with this change. He stays in his bed until his 4 am feeding, when he comes into our bed. Sometimes I'm still awake when he finishes eating and can put him back into his bed. Other times I wake up in the morning and he's still snuggled right next to me.

Here are Benjamin and Miriam after their shower yesterday morning:

Here's Benjamin doing some more practice with sitting up:

Miriam has a hard time letting him play with any toy by himself. She likes to "show" him how to do things, which mostly involves stealing his toys and refusing to give them back (because he won't use it right). She also doesn't like when he gets drool on anything (and chastised him for getting drool on her earlier this week because she is special. "Heavenly Father made me special!" she told him. "You can't get drool on things Heavenly Father makes special!"). 

And, yes, she's sitting on a pile of clean laundry that hasn't been folded yet. Sometimes laundry is a pain to keep up with. Whenever I think I'm "done" for a minute something happens to create another load of laundry. Last night I had the kids all ready for bed or almost all ready for bed. I sent Rachel to brush her teeth and go potty before bed while Miriam was charged with filling up their water cups with ice. I was nursing Benjamin to sleep.

I was silently applauding myself for managing to get the kids into bed on time and was planning the rest of my evening. I could still do the dishes and sweep the floor and put a load of diapers in the wash and maybe even have a few minutes to sit down and relax before Andrew got home. I was so on top of things!

Benjamin had just drifted off to sleep when the well-oiled cogs of my good intentions flew to pieces. The possessed timer on the stove started buzzing angrily, yanking Benjamin out of of the Land of Nod and into the Land of Screaming Tired Children (he doesn't like foreign noises). After turning off the buzzer I started pacing and bouncing with Benjamin and he was just settling down and fluttering his eyelids when Rachel screeched from the bathroom, "MOM! MOM! MOM! COME HERE NOW!"

Her voice sounded panicked so I set Benjamin down and bolted to the bathroom. When I got there I found Rachel dripping with vomit. Her hair was drenched and her nightgown was drenched and she'd managed to spray the entire bathroom floor with vomit, not to mention the toilet and tub.

Meanwhile, back in the kitchen, Miriam had managed to knock over the water cups she was supposed to be filling with ice. I found her mopping up her spill with a dishtowel when I ran into the kitchen to grab the paper towels.

"Mom! I spilled the water!"

"That's fine," I said. "Just keep doing what you're doing—you're doing great."

She continued to mop up the water while I set about mopping up the throw up and Rachel drew a bath for herself.

It was 8:15 PM and instead of having three sleeping angel children and a peaceful evening to myself I had a screaming 7-month-old on the living room floor, a moping 3-year-old cleaning up a spill in the kitchen, a sniffling 5-year-old in the bathtub, and was looking forward to an evening of cleaning the bathroom and doing an extra load of laundry.

But that's just how life goes, right?

When Andrew got home Miriam was still awake and was sweetly doing her best to fold a load of laundry on the living room floor (not the one she's pictured sitting on above but a different one) while I was trying to coax Benjamin into relaxing enough to fall asleep. Miriam, you see, had chosen to take a nap that afternoon instead of putting away the dishes. She's at a weird stage in life where a nap works wonders on her emotionally but where she doesn't quite need one physically. She was happy but still wide awake when Andrew came home at around 10 PM.

So instead of coming home to happy wife and a clean house full of sleeping children, Andrew came home to a frazzled wife and a messy house and 2/3 of his children awake. He put Miriam to bed and helped me get Benjamin into bed and even did the dishes.

He got Rachel off to school this morning (she doesn't have a stomach bug; she just throws up when she coughs) so that Benjamin and I could have a few more minutes to sleep (Benjamin was in our bed again this morning). Benjamin woke up happily enough when Miriam came in to find me.

"Shhh," I warned her.

"Okay," she whispered, and I do believe she would have been quiet had she just been joining me in bed. She likes to have morning snuggles. However, when she saw Benjamin she forgot her oath of silence and loudly giggled, "H-h-h-hey! It's a Benja-Boy!"

That woke him up pretty fast.

Here he is investigating the receiver this morning (yes, wearing the same clothes he wore yesterday). He's always making his way over there so that he can push all the buttons and spin all the knobs.

Benjamin playing with the receiver, January 2013
Somewhere I have a few pictures of Rachel doing the same they are! Check her out—she and Benjamin look quite a lot alike, actually. Their hair is similar and their faces are similar. Looking back, I am wondering how I ever survived Rachel's babyhood. Guys: she was trying to walk when she was Benjamin's age—I have pictures of her pulling herself up on furniture at 8 months (he'll be 8 months in just a couple of weeks and we're still working on sitting up).

Rachel playing with the receiver, January 2008
Benjamin's a little busier than I remember Miriam being but I'm grateful he isn't as busy as Rachel (or else he'd already be crawling around the house and pulling himself up on furniture so that he could be ready to walk in two more months). Gratefully, he's a chill little dude—still curious about his surroundings but also content to lie on his back and play with a rattle on the floor.

Alright; we're overdue for lunch now. Enough reminiscing about how difficult Rachel was as a baby. I've got to get our house in order—we're due for another snow/ice storm so I have to think of ways to keep my very busy girl (Rachel) occupied tomorrow (I'm guessing she'll either be home early or not have school at all) and we have no milk in the house!